Tuesday, April 23, 2019

UCPAC and Pixie Dust Players present Les Misérables: Student Edition May 11-19 in Rahway

    Union County Performing Arts Center, in association with Pixie Dust Players, presents Les Misérables: Student Edition from May 11-19 at the Hamilton Stage. This production features two casts with thirty-eight teen performers in each. Les Mis’s music director, Geoffrey Ko, recently made his Broadway debut as the associate music director of Be More Chill. He will also be music directing Be More Chill’s music and lyrist Joe Iconis’ new show, Broadway Bounty Hunter, this summer.

In nineteenth century France, Jean Valjean is released from years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a lifelong struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter.

“This production is yet another fine example of the remarkable opportunities that are being made available here at UCPAC in our youth programming department” says UCPAC’s Executive Director Brian Remo. “Ms. Maron is continuously thinking outside the box and reaching above and beyond, setting lofty goals and hitting them in stride. I am proud to say that the development of young artists has become a defining element of our identity here in Union County.”

Dates/ Times:
Saturday, May 11, 2019 7:30pm
Sunday, May 12, 2019 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Thursday, May 16, 2019 7:30pm
Friday, May 17, 2019 7:30pm
Saturday, May 18, 2019 7:30pm
Sunday, May 19, 2019 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Tickets are $25.00 each. For more information and tickets, visit, visit the Box Office in person at 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ, or call 732.499.8226. The Box Office can be reached via email at The Hamilton Stage is located at 360 Hamilton Stage in Rahway, NJ and is easily accessible to major roads and public transportation.

In 2007, Pixie Dust Players was founded by 12 year old Lindsay Maron. What began as a small troupe of young teens touring to nursing homes, children’s hospitals, and special education schools, soon became a full-fledged production company. Since 2008, Pixie Dust has produced 50+ productions including several world premieres and pilot productions.  In 2017, The Union County Performing Arts Center partnered with PDP to provide opportunities for young performers to both study theater and act in some of their first real productions.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Luna Stage’s HEARTLAND extended through May 5

Rabbi Elliott Tepperman, Author Marc Aronson, and
Islamic Networks Group at Luna Stage’s HEARTLAND

 Rabbi Elliott Tepperman of B’nai Keshet, the Islamic Networks Group’s Seham Abdala and Zainab Alam, and Maplewood author Marc Aronson will lead pre- and post-show conversations at Luna Stage’s Heartland this weekend. Now extended through May 5, Luna’s production has received audience and critical acclaim. Broadway World called it a “heartfelt masterpiece rife with comedic brilliance and the triumph of the human spirit.”

Set in Omaha and Afghanistan, Heartland weaves back and forth through time, unraveling a mystery that illuminates the cost of defending an American Empire. NJ Arts Maven described Heartland as “about compassion, responsibility, regret, redemption, forgiveness and, above all, love… [an] examination of the human heart…one you will talk about for days afterward.”

Upcoming special events include:
4/25 at 6:45pm | Pre-show LunaLit discussion of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West with Rabbi Elliott Tepperman
4/26 | Post-show conversation with Seham Abdala and Zainab Alam of NJ Islamic Networks Group
4/28 at 2pm | LunaLit: Marc Aronson on his new Young Adult book Rising Water about the Thai cave rescue
The Star-Ledger, affiliated with, praised Heartland as “a play that folds complex matters of international diplomacy and Western imperialism delicately into a tender, fraught father-daughter story.” The play is appropriate for family audiences. 12-year-old Maplewood Middle School World reviewer Jarrett Jackson wrote: “Heartland is filled with twists and turns that toy with your emotions, and has a powerful message about love, betrayal, and forgiveness.”
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman has been the spiritual leader of Bnai Keshet, in Montclair, NJ since 2002. His rabbinate embraces spiritually courageous Judaism and loving pursuit of shalom (peace) and justice for all people. He believes that Jewish practice is most transformational when deep internal work becomes a springboard for building community and engaging with the world.
Tepperman will facilitate a conversation about Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
Islamic Networks Group (ING) is a non-profit organization with affiliates and partners around the country that are pursuing peace and countering all forms of bigotry through education and interfaith engagement while working within the framework of the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom and pluralism. Founded in 1993, ING reaches millions of individuals and hundreds of groups a year at the grassroots level by building relationships, understanding, and peaceful communities.
Zainab Alam is an American Muslim currently pursuing her PhD at Rutgers University in political science. Zainab also holds a Master of Science in Global Affairs from NYU. She is a peacebuilding consultant, a freelance writer and a social science researcher. Zainab lives with her family in Central New Jersey and enjoys painting and traveling in her spare time. She is a certified speaker for NJ-ING.
Seham Abdala is an American Muslim and an engineer by trade. She is married, and has three children who were all born and raised in the USA. She worked at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson company, for over twenty years. She was one of the leaders who launched the first fully automated blood bank instrument in the world. She visited most European countries and worked with many colleagues from Europe, Asia, and Japan. Seham took early retirement from Johnson & Johnson and is focusing her efforts on NJ Islamic Networks Group. She is a volunteer acting as the executive director, serving on the board, and a certified speaker.
Marc Aronson is the award-winning author of more than 20 non-fiction books for children and teenagers. His works range from introducing readers to the latest discoveries in human evolution to how the story of sugar links together the histories of many peoples to the international effort to save the members of a Thai youth soccer team. Aronson has a doctorate in American History and teaches courses for future youth librarians in the Rutgers Master of Information program.
Aronson will discuss his latest book, Rising Water. On June 23, 2018, twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach were exploring the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand when disaster struck. A rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them as they took shelter on a shelf of the dark cave. Eight days of searching yielded no signs of life, but on July 2 they were discovered by two British divers. The boys and their coach were eventually rescued in an international operation that took three days. What could have been a terrible tragedy became an amazing story of survival.
Heartland runs through May 5 at Luna Stage, located in West Orange's Valley Arts District, close to Montclair, Maplewood, South Orange, Livingston, Verona, Orange, Short Hills and Millburn. Tickets are $16-39, and are available at or by calling 973-395-5551. The full schedule, including the schedule of talk-backs and events, is available at
About Luna Stage
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Luna brings communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District—a crossroads of cultures—the Company celebrates the diverse voices that surround us. Luna Stage is dedicated to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists.
Luna’s classes for children and adults, and its developmental programs for early career artists, inspire community members to nurture their own creativity and vision.
Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 80 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Some of those plays have gone on to productions in New York City and beyond. Luna’s unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.

'String Around My Finger' directed by Clark Carmichael at Dreamcatcher

String Around My Fingerby Brenda Withers 
Directed by Clark Carmichael
WHEN: April 25 - May 12, 2019; Fridays & Saturdays 8 PM; Sundays 2 PM
Oakes Center, 120 Morris Ave., Summit
TICKETS: Adults $35, seniors/students $30; preview April 25, $20
Buy Your Tickets! Order by phone: 800-838-3006
Use the code WITHERS to receive $3 off any full-price adult ticket.
New Jersey Premiere
A quiet comedy about a young couple in the aftermath of a miscarriage. While Emma is still in the hospital, she and Kip try, with the help or interference of his sister, a physician assistant and an insightful older patient, to piece together what their relationship has been and what it still might become.
April 25: Preview performance, all seats $20
April 26: Opening night, post-show reception
April 28: Senior Sunday, all senior tickets $20; Free post-show talkback
May 5: Free post-show talkback

Princeton Summer Theater Announces 50th Anniversary Season

Princeton Summer Theater's 2019 season will run from June 20-August 18 and consist of four mainstage productions, as well as the world premiere of a new children’s play.

Founded in 1968, Princeton Summer Theater is a semi-professional summer stock theater company located in Princeton University’s Hamilton-Murray Theater. It recently won the 2019 People’s Choice Award for “Best Small Theater.” Notable alumni include Tony Award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago), Tony Award-winning producer Geoff Rich (Avenue Q), and Hollywood actor William Hootkins (Star Wars, Batman).

This year’s landmark season asks questions of love and identity, as characters pushed to the margins of society discover themselves more deeply in four frank, funny, and thought-provoking plays. These include Falsettos (book by William Finn and James Lapine, music and lyrics by William Finn, directed by Artistic Director Daniel Krane ‘18), a poignant and vibrant glimpse at an unconventional family in the midst of crises personal and political; Deathtrap (by Ira Levin, directed by Annika Bennett ‘14), a twisty thriller full of dark secrets; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (by William Shakespeare, directed by Maeli Goren), a classic story of mistaken identity given a fresh twist as the heroes come to grips with a changing environment with the addition of puppetry; and Topdog/Underdog (by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Lori Elizabeth Parquet), a searing exploration of race, masculinity, and power in contemporary America.

The season will also feature the world premiere of a new children’s play by Bennett, with a title to be announced.

For more information about Princeton Summer Theater, or to purchase tickets, please visit

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Meet the playwright of 'Necromancers' Monday at Hudson Theatre Works

Vincent Lamberti (Playwright) 
has been acting writing directing and producing for the professional theatre internationals for the last 35 years.  He is the author of "The Necromancers' and "Ghosts of Newstead Vault."  Vincent is also and actor and has played Stanley Kowalski in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and Count Dracula in THE PASSION OF DRACULA both at the Tri-State Actors Theater.  His New York credits includes productions for  the Roundabout Theatre, the Henry St. Playhouse, NY Public Theatre, and the Metropolitan Playhouse.  Regional and international credits include plays for the Pacific Jewish Theatre, the Northshore Music Theatre, Two Rivers Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Theater of NJ, McCarter Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Capital Rep, the Drill Hall Arts Center in London, and the National Theatre in Greece. 

Mr. Lamberti has been seen on TV in ONE LIFE TO LIVE, HOT ICE, HELP! and NY SEE NEWS MAGAZINE. His film work includes THE FUNERAL, THE BLACKOUT, DESECRATION, and HORROR.


Vincent Lamberti as Sir Henry Irving, Michael Laurence, as Bram Stoker (Broadway: Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio, Desire Under the Elms), Penny Balfour, as Isabel Bateman (Long Wharf Theatre, ACT, Hartford Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Atlantic Theatre, and New York Stage And Film,) Jenny Sterlin as Old Lady Bateman/Lady Heathcote, Gina Tuttle as Kate Bateman, Angela Rogers, as Nellie Gwynne, and Bess Miller as The Little Boy/Timmy Heathcote.
10 Minute Festival 
to benefit Hudson Theatre Works
May 17 & 18
with original plays by John Patrick Shanley, Neil Labute, Nicole Pandolfo, Michael Puzzo, Cynthia Baback, Luigi Jannuzzi and more.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

'Over The River' comedy at Hunterton Hills Playhouse

Hunterdon Hills Playhouse is conveniently located in Union Township, four miles west of Clinton, NJ, on Rt. 173 West, between Exits 11 & 12 off Interstate Rt. 78. Our accessibility from major highways makes us a natural stop on route to and from many East Coast attractions. We are easily reached from New York City, Philadelphia, and the entire tri-state area.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

'Home of the Great Pecan' Opens Friday, April 26th at CTG

The Chester Theatre Group presents Home of the Great Pecan starting on Friday, April 26th and extending for eight shows through Sunday, May 12th. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18. Tickets may be purchased online at

Home of the Great Pecan is a hilarious, quirky southern comedy - think Greater Tuna meets Plan 9 From Outer Space! Set in a small Texas town in the 1980's, mayhem ensues when Seguin's prized landmark -- the Great Pecan -- is stolen! A minister on the make, aliens, a prom queen on the verge and a philandering fiancé are just a few of the wild cast of suspects.

he playwright,Stephen Bittrich, has many published plays, and for over 15 years has worked primarily with The Drilling Company, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Pecan had it's first workshop production. There he's had 13 new short plays and 2 full-lengths produced and he's also gone on to develop 4 new full-length plays: The Acquisition, Even, Healer, and Hole. His play Healer has been optioned for a possible independent feature film.

The Chester Theatre cast of Home of the Great Pecan includes Lily Boyle in the roles of Priscilla/Billy/Chucky; Will Palazzolo of Wharton in the roles of Johns/Francio/Les Glenehinkel; Lynn Langone of Cranford in the roles of Tammie Lynn/Mrs. Rottweiler; Steve Nitka of Hackettstown in the roles of Ed/Reverend Pat; Carol Holland of Long Valley in the roles of Sher.Bart/Deke/Mrs.Bart/Kitty; Dale Monroe of Morristown in the roles of Greeley/Deputy Diggity (photo); and Jill Bormann of Morristown in the roles of Rosy/Sonya.

The Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhbouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member. The theater is located on the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue. For more information, visit the CTG website at

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Black Box Studios Proudly Presents SWEAT by LYNN NOTTAGE

With shows such as Robert Askins’ Hand to God, Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9, Albee’s The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, and Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Black Box Performing Arts Center is quickly making a name for itself as the area’s premiere destination for immersive and cutting-edge plays. How to Transcend a Happy Marriage is the third main stage show of 2019, following the NJ premiere of Significant Other by Joshua Harmon and How to Transcend a Happy Marriage by Sarah Ruhl.

Sweat - presented in special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service - finds the heartbeat of America with the story of a group of factory workers whose friendship is tested as they explore issues of loyalty, finances, and race. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, Sweat is hailed as “…passionate and necessary…a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us…SWEAT communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there’s humor and abundant humanity…a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t know how to resist” (Time Out NY). BBPAC’s production is directed by Matt Okin and features the talents of Kymbali Craig, Michael Gardiner, Alex Hughes, Kirsten Lewis, Kentrell Loftin, Arthur Pogh, Ellen Revesz, and Laurence Wallace. Sweat is sponsored in part by Fairleigh Dickinson University. Special thanks to The Cottage Bar in Teaneck, NJ for use of the space for promotional photos.

The Black Box Performing Arts Center (home of Black Box Studios) continues to emerge as the Tri-State area’s premiere destination for both cutting-edge professional theater and collaborative performing arts education — in the heart of Teaneck, NJ— just a quick ride over the George Washington Bridge. Black Box was the recipient of the 2017 Teaneck Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Arts Award, and currently serves on the Chamber Board as the Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee. In addition to main stage productions, Black Box PAC hosts special events including Open Mic Nights, Comedy Nights, and staged readings.
Sweat plays Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm from May 4-19 (preview performances, open to the public, are 5/2 and 5/3) at the Black Box Performing Arts Center (200 Walraven Drive. (just off  Palisade Ave., GPS: 290 Walraven Drive), Teaneck, NJ 07666.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors.Tickets are now available at Group rates for 10 or more are available by calling (201) 357-2221. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs free summer concerts at five NJ parks

Program features concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin
NJSO also performs at Giralda Music and Arts Festival
June in communities across New Jersey
NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs free concerts in five New Jersey parks in June, featuring a family-friendly program of diverse music from across the Americas. The NJSO performs free concerts at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside, Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, Ocean County College in Toms River, Branch Brook Park in Newark and Marine Park in Red Bank.

Rounding out its summer schedule, the Orchestra also will appear at the Giralda Farms outdoor festival in Madison and present a program of new music by the 2019 NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute composers in Princeton.

Patrons can enter the NJSO’s annual photo contest to win a three-concert Compose Your Own subscription for two for the 2019–20 season.

Free Summer Parks Programs
Celebrate the diversity of the Americas with the NJSO this summer. Explore the continents with concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Hear hits from West Side Story and Porgy and Bess, travel to Mexico with Arturo Márquez’s Conga del Fuego Nuevo and experience patriotic favorites along with Copland’s classic “Hoe Down” from Rodeo.

NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez conducts the summer parks concerts, which are an annual tradition that reflects the Orchestra’s commitment to bringing live symphonic music to communities throughout the state.

Free concerts take place on the following dates:
  • Friday, June 21, at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside (7:30 pm)
  • Monday, June 24, at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken (7:30 pm)
  • Tuesday, June 25, at Ocean County College in Toms River (8 pm)
  • Friday, June 28, at Branch Brook Park in Newark (7:30 pm)—with fireworks
  • Sunday, June 30, at Marine Park in Red Bank (8 pm)

Giralda Music and Arts Festival
Presented by Morris Arts

The NJSO performs at the Giralda Music and Arts Festival in Madison on Sunday, June 23, at 6 pm. Gates open at 4 pm for picnics and activities. Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the gate; children’s rates are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 973.285.5115.

Scores: NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute Concert

On Saturday, July 20, at 8 pm at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Cristian Măcelaru conducts the dynamic works by the composers of the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a multi-faceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers. The Institute composers will briefly share the inspiration behind their pieces in an evening that will show the vibrant future of orchestral music.

General-admission concert tickets are $15 and are available for purchase online or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

Additional information about the Institute is available at

Full event details for the NJSO’s slate of summer concerts are available at

The June 21 concert is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Westfield Foundation and the Blanche M. and George L. Watts Mountainside Community Foundation. The June 23 concert is presented by Morris Arts. The June 24 concert is presented by the City of Hoboken. The June 25 concert is sponsored by JCP&L/First Energy Foundation and PNC Bank in partnership with Ocean County College. The June 28 concert is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and the County of Essex and is part of the 2019 Essex County Free Summer Music Series. The June 30 concert is presented by Red Bank River Center. The NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute is presented in collaboration with the Princeton University Department of Music and generously funded in part by The Edward T. Cone Foundation and Princeton University. The summer parks media sponsor is affiliated with The Star-Ledger.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez; and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services office is located at 60 Park Place, Suite 900, in Newark. Hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, and concert Saturdays, 11 am–5 pm.

For more information, visit or email

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.